:: choice ::
go green!  go red!  go blue!
random good link:
wakkerdier.nl
random evil link:
Ku Klux Klan
random quote:
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious."
Oscar Wilde
visit kde.org! visit debian.org!

Akonadi Sprint in Berlin

This weekend has brought me to the wonderful city of Berlin (wonderful in terms of having the baroque alternative charme that makes Kreuzberg so special). I'm here for the Akonadi meeting, which is all about the personal information store for the Free Desktop. Together with about 15 other people, the time from Friday until Sunday we're trying to advance Akonadi to the next level. I'm mainly here because I was brave (stupid!?) enough to start writing an email plasmoid after being infected by Till (who also turns older today) with the Akonadi virus.

During development of Lion Mail, I've gotten a pretty good idea of what Akonadi does really well (make it easy to use PIM data in your application), and what's lacking at this point (searching and sorting being my main wishes). Yesterday, I presented Lion Mail to the PIM crowd, showed some new concepts I'm trying to implement using it, and also showing some of the Social Desktop Plasma stuff I've been working on in the last weeks. Immediately after my demo, the discussion how to get searching, filtering and sorting done in Akonadi, which I think is great. Not that it wasn't on the agenda for this meeting anyway, but it's really nice to see that some of my wishes are picked up immediately by people like Volker. Other notes from the discussion are on Techbase

I'm not mainly here to talk though (although that obviously is very important), and it would in fact be very disappointing for me if it was all talk-only. Yesterday, I've sat down with Volker and looked at a couple of immediate issue I have in Lion Mail, and solutions for those. In my last blog, I was talking about a performance issue that makes it take 20 seconds until Akonadi returns even fairly simple query results. This was a local problem with my setup. (For those in for a good laugh: My Akonadi was incorrectly set up so that it would fetch all the folders from gmane (about 40.000 :o) and store them. While my personal cache of gmane certainly could certainly come handy in case I was dropped onto a lonely island for 30 years, it's not the most common case. After removing the NNTP resource in Akonadi, query results show up pretty much instantly now. (And gmane has probably also become a bit faster, ...)

Some other bits that I fixed in Lion Mail include monitoring for changes in collection statistics (number of emails, number of unread ones), and writing out the changed information of an email back to Akonadi (or in less technical terms: marking an email as important, read, new or task now actually works). It's one of the things where pieces of a puzzle fall into place, since the changes being written back to Akonadi showed that also change notifications about those items actually work. That means you flag an email as important, and other applets showing this email are reflecting that change as well. Nice.

Also, I've done some UI cleanups in Lion Mail, the action icons are now only shown on hover, making for less clutter in the default view. Yay, because clutter sucks.

Toma has been working on fetching information from microblogs into Akonadi (such a thing in akonadi language is called as "resource"). I've spent some cycles yesterday night to add support for this kind of data to the Akonadi dataengine in Plasma and finished this in the course of today. While there's a microblogging dataengine already, storing the data in Akonadi makes a lot of sense, as it caches the information and makes it easily available to all kinds of apps (not just Plasmoids). It also makes it very easy to share the data across applications. It'll also be a lot easier to query the information, for two reasons: The way you retrieve data from Akonadi is largely unified. Loading an email from Akonadi works nearly the same as fetching Contact data, or in this case entries in a microblog.

Now the team is up for a totally different, less collaborative and more competitive endeavour. Some Trolls from the Berlin office have come over to teach the PIMsters the necessary Foosball lessons. And while I had initially been bragging about my skills (I'm unbeaten Foosball champion in the KDE e.V. Board-internal competition!), I'm now back to hacking. I'm better at that. (Which says more about my Foosball skills than anything else.)

Ow, and I'm tainted now. I did my first commit to the kdepim module today. (Though I snuck one in yesterday already through some code that was about to move.) Feels kind of dirty, but good.

[ Sat, 04 Apr 2009 21:29:08 +0200 ] permanent link



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